Across a series of twelve in-depth interviews with a diverse range of major artists, Dominic Johnson presents a new oral history of performance art. From uses of body modification and physical extremity, to the creation of all-encompassing personae, to performance pieces lasting months or years, these artists have provoked and explored the vital limits between art and life. Their discussions with Johnson give us a glimpse of their artistic motivations, preoccupations, processes, and contexts. Despite the diversity of art forms and experiences featured, common threads weave between the interviews: love, friendship, commitment, death and survival.
Each interview is preceded by an overview of the artist's work, and the volume itself is introduced by a thoughtful critical essay on performance art and oral history. The conversational tone of the interviews renders complex ideas and theoretical propositions accessible, making this an ideal book for students of Theatre and Performance, as well as for artists, scholars and general readers.